TECHNOLOGY

Box: Strong on Revenues (Weak on Profits) Files IPO

The cloud-storage company has strong revenue growth, but no profits. Welcome to the club!
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Cloud services and storage company Box filed for an initial public offering late Monday.

In so doing, Box joins more than 60 smaller companies that have filed for secret IPOs in the past two years. The best-known in the group is Twitter, which filed its public documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission in October.

A provision of the JOBS Act of 2012 allows companies valued at $1 billion or less to file their public papers a few weeks before they intend to go public. By filing confidentially, companies can avoid a protracted period of public scrutiny.

In 2013, Inc. named Box founder and chief executive Aaron Levie Entrepreneur of the Year. Levie founded the company in 2005 from his dorm room at the University of Southern California. Levie draws a salary of $150,000 year and owns four percent of the company, according to the company's public filing documents. Venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson owns more than 25 percent of Box.

Like Twitter, Box is not profitable. For the fiscal year ended January 31, 2014, Box reported a net loss of $169 million, compared to a net loss of $112 million for the same period in 2013. It's net loss for January 31, 2012 was $5 million.

In the section of its SEC documents devoted to risks, Box said it did not know when it would be profitable.

"We have a history of cumulative losses, and we do not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future," Box said.

Box's revenue growth, however, has been strong. It reported $124 million in sales for the year ended January 31, 2014, more than double its revenue for the same period in 2013, and vastly more than a mere $3 million for the same period in 2012.

Box, which will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BOX, hopes to raise $250 million from its offering.

Box did not list a price per share for the offering, but noted an internal valuation performed in January valued commons shares at $14.06. Applied to the more than 90 million shares of common stock it proposes to sell, that would give the company a value of more than $1 billion.

The lead underwriters for the IPO are Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and J.P. Morgan.

 

 

At Full Speed: How Box's Aaron Levie Became Entrepreneur of the Year

Aaron Levie was just 20 years old when he co-founded Box. Today he has raised more than $300 million in funding and serves 20 million global users.

Last updated: Mar 24, 2014

JEREMY QUITTNER | Staff Writer | Staff Writer, Inc. and Inc.com

Jeremy Quittner is a staff writer for Inc. magazine and Inc.com. He previously covered technology for American Banker and entrepreneurship for BusinessWeek.




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